May & June 2001 ramblings

Car park prang, effective brakes, Stereo MPs, Haggis pictures, Seven Club meeting report, Haggis damage, Haggis Hunt is over, too much is happening...

Car park prang

After such a good day yesterday, it could only get worse. My car was parked today, and some git hit it. No witnesses, no note. The driver's side rear wing now has a huge crack in it, so it will have to be replaced. Of course, the expensive part isn't the wing, it's the respraying. And it's not that simple a job either, because you have to remove some of the interior panelling to get to the nuts which hold the wing on. The first all-in estimate is about £230. [Ed: It's now fixed.]

Friday 8th June 2001. Link to this ramble.

Effective braking

I've been trying out a technique which was mentioned on the Sevens list. When braking I usually ease the pressure onto the pedal, and as the speed decreases, ease back off again, trying to be smooth. Paul Ranson mentioned that you could brake much more quickly if you were hard on the brakes from the outset, and then eased off as the speed was scrubbed away. I think the theory is that the faster you're going, the more difficult it is to lock the wheels, so you should use maximum braking effort right from the start.

That sounds reasonable, but I was a bit concerned about the effects of the sudden weight transfer to the front of the car. Anyway, I decided to give it a go. It's absolutely fantastic! From high speed, I can now brake a good 20-30 meters shorter than I used to be able to. It's not suitable for all occasions (I must remember not to do it in the wet!), but when you do it - wow!

I'm now even more impressed with my car's big brakes.

Thursday 7th June 2001. Link to this ramble.

Doing my duty

It's election day, so I voted in our not really secret at all ballot. I had to treck over to Binfield, because I was still registered to vote under our old address. I get a bit annoyed that we can't vote electronically yet, but I do enjoy feeling that I've done my bit for democracy (even though it's pointless in such a safe seat as Bracknell). The bonus was that after that detour, the engine was lovely and warm for a thrash round my usual lanes on the way to work. And it's a gorgeous day.

Thursday 7th June 2001. Link to this ramble.

Stereo MPs

This is the best piece of incisive political commentary I have seen during the whole election campaign. Behold: the Stereo MPs!

Monday 4th June 2001. Link to this ramble.

Haggis pictures!

Some of my photos (and quite a few more besides) are now on the official Haggis Hunt web site. Thanks, Rob! I've listed some of my favourites below, but if you were on the tour then you should check out all of them - they'll bring back many happy memories.

Have a look round the rest of the site too; Rob has done an excellent job.

Thursday 31st May 2001. Link to this ramble.

Seven Club meeting report for May

Added Steve Foster's report for the May meetings of the L7C North Hants. & Berks. area.

Sunday 27th May 2001. Link to this ramble.

Haggis leaves its mark

As if being hit by a fox isn't enough...

Steve swapped my engine mounts last night. They had definitely reached the end of their useful life. On one (from the driver's side) the rubber block was coming away from the metal plate. The other had disintegrated into three pieces: the metal base plate, the rubber block, and the thread for the big bolt had all gone their separate ways.

We also replaced the front exhaust mount and bush, which I thought had just bent a bit, but had actually split completely in two. Although it seemed fine, we also replaced the rear exhaust bush.

The car feels more tied together now, and I swear that the tendancy for the nose to continue going round a corner once it had finished has now gone. Maybe the engine was noticeably moving after all.

For the record, the car had done 34125 miles. I hope I can go at least that far again before the mounts next need to be changed.

Wednesday 23rd May 2001. Link to this ramble.

Haggis is over :-(

The Haggis Hunt was fantastic (again, full report when I get chance), but it's well and truly over now. Steve Foster helped me fix my clutch problem on Saturday - the adjusting nuts on the bellhousing end of the cable had worked their way loose. Whoever last messed with the cable (quite possibly me) probably didn't do up the nuts tight enough because they are very difficult to get to. Steve's trusty custom tools came to the rescue, so they won't be working loose again any time soon.

We also discovered that both my engine mounts are knackered (probably due to some sump-ground contact on Skye). I ordered the parts yesterday, so hopefully they will arrive in time for Steve to help me fit them tonight. We should also be able to replace the shot front exhaust mounting, although the dented ali above where the exhaust exits the bonnet just adds character.

Tuesday 22nd May 2001. Link to this ramble.

Too much is happening...

Busy at work, moving house (absolute nightmare, but we're in Charvil now), I crashed my Seven (full report when I get chance). Now I'm just hoping that it's all back together in time for the Haggis. Fingers crossed...

I've just added Steve's report for the March meetings of the L7C North Hants. & Berks. area.

Thursday 3rd May 2001. Link to this ramble.

This page is It was first published on Wednesday 2 January, 2002 and last updated on Monday 22 November, 2004.